Need some advice on funaces

Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: zacluke On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:42 am

Hello, I have been reading this forum for some time, and i finally decided to register and ask for some advice. My wife and I bought a 1911 three story (about 2700 sq ft). I usually close off the third floor and do not heat it in the winter. Currently the house is set up as an oil fired forced hot air system. The furnace is at least 20 years old and accoring to last years heat bills not very efficient. I was planning on buying a coal stove, like an Alaska Stoker II, ducting it into my existing duct work as a suppliment, BUT... This week has been the first cold snap of the year and my oil furnace started off a bit rough, and it got my wife and I thinking, Instead of spending 2500 or so on a smaller stove, why not spend a bit more and just replace the old oil furnace with a new coal unit capable of heating the entire house.

I have used coal all my life. My gram had an ancient EFM stoker and my parents had a bucket a day harman. I have so far looked at an Alaska 140 with the auger feed. My concerns are this, is it enough to heat my entire house with no problems? Is there another stove that is better? Is there another stove that is more reliable as the sole heating source for the house? I really do not want to have my furnace down in the middle of winter.

Also I would like to use the stove with a domestic hot water coil. With that and all of the other options, I'm getting a price of just over 5000.

Any opinions would be welcomed. Oh I also have a masonary chimney and the furnace is in the basement.
thanks
zacluke
 

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: Poconoeagle On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 11:10 am

Welcome to the forum Zacluke!! Congrats on the decision to go black rock heat. We got ya beat by one year with this 1910 cottage, open walls with no insulation and single pane windows....

kept it 85 + with a alaska kodiak for a few years now.

I bet the 140 with dual feed will be overkill but you could use one stoker and have the option for the second if needed
the big blower cfm is a plus also...

i like the stoker II with the 500 cfm blower ... theres a water coil option also 8-)
Poconoeagle
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Buckwalter & Co. , EFM520
Stove/Furnace Model: No. 28 Glenwood 1880, Alaska

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: Berlin On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:29 pm

why not throw in the EFM forced air furnace with oil backup?
Berlin
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Will-Burt Combustioneer 77B
Coal Size/Type: Ohio BITUMINOUS pea stoker coal

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: WNY On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:24 pm

The Leisure Line furnaces are looking really good.
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Need some advice on furnaces

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:48 pm

WNY wrote:The Leisure Line furnaces are looking really good.

Long way to go to catch up to EfM :)
Under fed stoker with unlimited coal bin size Vs incline Flat bed stoker with limited hopper size I suppose it you don't mind filling the hopper every few days they will work fine vs filling a coal bin once or twice a year or every couple years depending on size of bin and not having the fire go out in 15 or 20 minutes do to power outage or coal running empty in hopper.
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: zacluke On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:09 pm

Any idea where i can go to look at efm's in the wyoming valley, honestly i haven't found anyplace that carries them.
zacluke
 

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: zacluke On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:18 pm

also, how much would an EFM capable of heating my entire house be?
zacluke
 

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: coal berner On: Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:36 pm

zacluke wrote:also, how much would an EFM capable of heating my entire house be?

AF 150 is 150k btu hot air max feed rate

http://www.efmheating.com/manuals/Stoke ... urnace.pdf
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: Pacowy On: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:28 am

One option that might be worth considering is replacing the furnace with a boiler and water-to-air coil/air handler. I've heated my last two houses with EFM's and think they're great, but there are a few considerations here that to me seem to weigh in favor of a boiler. First, while the EFM furnace uses the same stoker as a 520 boiler, EFM recommends against operating it over 7 teeth of feed in the furnace, so the furnace is limited relative to the boiler in the btu's it can generate. Furnaces in general don't make DHW very effectively compared to boilers, so the limited output of the furnace is even more significant if you're trying to produce DHW. Also, especially in an old house like that, a boiler provides flexibility for adding a zone to heat the garage, basement, cold room, etc. that isn't easily achieved with hot air. Even just running the boiler with the jacket off can function as effective radiant heat for your basement if needed (worked very well in our old 1890 house). Finally, I don't think EFM offers an oil package for their stoker furnace, and I don't think there are many others who do.

Overall, I'd suggest taking a good look at boiler-based options that could tie into your hot air system, while also providing efficient generation of DHW. Relative to the furnace, a 520 can provide more btu's for heat, can generate 5 gpm of DHW indefinitely and is available with or without oil backup.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: Rob R. On: Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:46 am

Pacowy wrote:One option that might be worth considering is replacing the furnace with a boiler and water-to-air coil/air handler.


Pacowy wrote:Overall, I'd suggest taking a good look at boiler-based options that could tie into your hot air system, while also providing efficient generation of DHW. Relative to the furnace, a 520 can provide more btu's for heat, can generate 5 gpm of DHW indefinitely and is available with or without oil backup.

Mike


I agree with Mike. I think a used or refurbished boiler with a water-to-air heat exchanger in your furnace ductwork would be a very cost effective solution. The ability to run additional zones off the boiler is a great feature if you have cold spots in the house, or want more control in some areas. You can generate a lot of domestic hot water with a tankless coil, or add an indirect hot water heater if that's your flavor... Mike also made a good point about radiant heat in the basement. I have an un-jacketed coal boiler in my basement and believe me...it is warm & dry!
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Need some advice on furnaces

PostBy: coal berner On: Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:40 am

Yes boiler with hot water to hot air heat exchanger in plenum of oil or gas hot air furnace is the way to go Vs hot furnace only more btu output with boiler 5 GPM or 7 GMP DHW coil . With boiler not limit to btu output like your are with hot air furnace do to damaging heat exchanger over heating and warping heat exchanger that is the limitation with hot air furnace btu out put with boiler that is a eliminated much more btu out put but you must size hot water to hot air heat exchange accordingly btu heating needs to heat home properly. With all this said the AF 150 hot air furnace is more then capable of heating most size homes remember 150 k is max btu output with max feed rate of 7 teeth = 17.5 lbs per hr of coal. which is alot more then most will ever use to heat a home .
coal berner
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1986 Electric Furnace Man 520 DF
Stove/Furnace Make: Electric Furnace Man
Stove/Furnace Model: DF520

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: Wood'nCoal On: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:13 pm

I agree, a boiler with a heat exchanger. With the hot water coil you'll be all set, plus-as mentioned earlier-you have the ability to add hydronic zones later. It is more work but it is worth it.
Here's mine:
EFM 350
Wood'nCoal
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1959 EFM 350
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Magnafire Mark I
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Chestnut
Other Heating: Fisher Fireplace Insert

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: EarthWindandFire On: Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:33 pm

Hi zacluke,

We have a similar situation as you, and a deep seated hate of the oil companies.

Back in 2004 I was very bust at work and forgot to check the oil in the fuel tank. So, we ran out of oil just two days before Christmas. My wife called the oil delivery company that we just got oil from in the Fall. They told her that bevause we didn't have a service plan, they wouldn't be able to deliver oil until next week. Well, we had a 16 month old baby and my wife cried on the phone to the guy and he just didn't care, "nothing he could do" he said. I made ten trips to the gas station and put 50 gallons of diesel into the oil tank to get us through till our next delivery.

Two years later, my oil furnace broke down. I was still too dumb to get a service plan. And of course it had snowed the night before and the oil company said they couldn't venture out without the roads plowed better. Luckily, my in-laws made a few phone calls and pressured their oil service tech to drive over and fix our furnace.

The point is; that ever since these two near tragic events I have wanted to cut all ties with oil companies and these new furnaces. A coal fired stove, furnace or boiler is many times more economical and more importantly, much more reliable than any of the modern day products sold by Rheem, Lennox, Trane etc.

My suggestion is a Keystoker A-80 coal furnace with a beckett oil burner and a DHW coil.
EarthWindandFire
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Lil' Heater.
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer model 75.
Other Heating: Oil and Natural Gas.

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: jpen1 On: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:42 pm

I really never bash a brand but the units I would stay away from are would be the Keystoker's as they are a pain in neck literally to clean. Furthermore the leisureline and the efm are better units efficiency wise. The leisure may have a hoper which needs flling every few day however if you ever get a large piece of debris in the worm auger of an efm with a full bin of coal you'll wish you had a hopper. So they each have their advantages however the leisureline is 220,000 btu/hr input with 89-90% efficiency. The Leisure will run about $4500 and the efm is over $8000 last time I checked. They are both good hot air furnaces so you can't go wrong there.
Last edited by jpen1 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

Re: Need some advice on funaces

PostBy: Pacowy On: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:08 pm

jpen1 wrote:however if you evger get a large piece of debris in the worm auger of an efm with a full bin of coal you'll wish you had a hopper.


With a proper "doghouse" the end of the auger is accessible no matter how much coal is in the bin. Never wished I had a hopper.

Mike
Pacowy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: H.B. Smith 350 Mills boiler/EFM 85R stoker
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite